By Ann Bleiker
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Everyone wondered what a standard pattern inside the massive Globe Life Field would look like and how the Top 15 and their equine partners would handle it. Well the answer was two-time and reigning WPRA World Champions Hailey Kinsel and Sister handled it like the champs they are laying down a run of 17.18 seconds to take the first round win and take over the No. 1 spot in the WPRA World Standings.
“I had no doubt she would do her best here,” said Kinsel when asked about her 9-year old palomino mare. “I have all the confidence in the world in that mare and she was awesome for me tonight. I can’t be more grateful.”
Kinsel of Cotulla, Texas, and DM Sissy Hayday were second out on the ground on opening night and collected 26,230.77 points. Those points added to her 2020 regular season earnings brings her total to $114,691.63 surpassing Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, who has held the No. 1 spot in the world standings since the springtime. Pozzi Tonozzi, also a two-time WPRA World Champion, finished third in a time of 17.32 seconds and has $112,378.68 in 2020 earnings through the first round at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Arlington, Texas.
Tiany Schuster, of Krum, Texas, is making her second Wrangler NFR appearance and she and Show Mance finished second on the night in a time of 17.25 seconds.
Lisa Lockhart, a fan favorite and 14-time Wrangler NFR qualifier, ran into some tough luck on opening night knocking the third barrel down as she came out of the turn ending with a 22.11.
Jessica Telford, ranked 16th from Caldwell, Idaho, replaced No. 3 ranked barrel racer Dona Kay Rule, who was disqualified due to COVID-19 event protocols. Telford finished seventh on the night in a time of 17.59 seconds.
Second round action gets underway, Friday, December 3 at 6:45 p.m. CT LIVE on the Cowboy Channel.